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Woking FC v Dorking Wanderers Monday 28th August 3pm KO Dorking head across the county to The Laithwaite Community Stadium this Monday afternoon, finishing off the August Bank Holiday double header against Surrey rivals Woking after a 2-2 draw with York on Saturday. A Jason Prior header rescued a point for Wanderers in what was a first draw of the season for the following in a back and forth affair at Meadowbank. James McShane opened the scoring, and his account for the season, after poking home from close range following Prior’s blocked effort. The visitors responded well, and two astutely taken efforts from Maziar Kouhyar and Dipo Akinyemi would mean The Minstermen looked set to head back up north with all three points. However, with less than ten minutes to play, Bowerman and Prior produced real quality to find an equaliser, with 'JP9' converting Seb’s cross brilliantly. Not long after marvelling his assist, Bowerman was on the receiving end of a heavy challenge from Lendell John-Lewis, who received a red card with two minutes of stoppage time left to play. Marc White, returning to the touchline for the first time this season, was impressed by his teams “passion” and “desire” to react to the two goals and earn a point. The Wanderers manager described the last 25 minutes as “vintage Wanderers”, as his side seemed to find another gear to respond to going a goal down. McShane’s opener just after the quarter hour mark came somewhat against the run of play, Michael Morton’s side carried the greater threat for large portions of the first half but remained unable to covert the threat into goals. It wasn’t until just before the hour mark where they were able to make the pressure count, after the ball deflected rather fortuitously into his path, Kouhyar squared up Francomb and worked a yard of space brilliantly, before curling an effort beyond Harrison Male. No less than 15 minutes later, Akinyemi found himself one-on-one with Francomb, before flashing a powerful effort beyond the defender, and Male, into the far corner off the post. White intimated that the loss of Dan Gallagher on the fifty minute mark was a key factor in his side going 2-1 down, “I really like those [York’s] front boys, I think they’re great players, he [Gallagher] was screening that brilliantly which really helped Tony Craig”. White did state that Gallagher’s ankle was swelling slightly, and that he had Monday’s game against Woking in mind. Despite the loss of their lead, and Gallagher, Wanderers regained some control, and were able to find an equaliser. A vintage piece of Bowerman brilliance from the left facilitated the goal, however Prior still had plenty to do, his glancing header had too much power and accuracy for Ryan Whitley, who got a fingertip to it, before Prior wheeled away in celebration in front of the Wanderers faithful. White insisted post match that he viewed it as “definitely two points dropped, not a point gained” as he looks for his side to kick on at The Laithwaite Community Stadium on Monday afternoon.

Team News As stated, Gallagher (ankle) was withdrawn from Saturday’s match against York as a precautionary measure, though it is yet to be seen whether he is deemed fit enough to feature in Monday’s match day squad. There is no movement on Matt Briggs (hamstring), Isaac Philpot (hamstring) and Jimmy Muitt (stomach), who still all face a further 3-4 weeks on the sidelines. New signing Dan Pybus came off the bench to make his debut on Saturday against his former side, whilst Matt Everitt, who this week arrived from Brighton & Hove Albion, was an unused substitute. Following on from the two exciting new recruits, Wanderers have again gone into the market, with 20 year old defender Alex Lankshear being the latest arrival, joining on loan from Blackpool FC until January. Lankshear, who began his youth career at Arsenal, earned his first team debut for The Seasiders in the final game of last season. The defender is set to be part of Marc White’s match day squad travelling to Woking, his new manager stated, “Alex is a top quality left-sided centre back. Following on from our business completed earlier this week, Alex is another excellent addition to our side."

After serving a one-match suspension for his red card picked up at Solihull Moors, midfielder Aaron Kuhl will also be available again for selection on Monday afternoon.

Opposition Focus: The Cardinals 2023/24 marks Woking’s fifth consecutive campaign in the National League, they enjoyed an impressive season last term, finishing 4th and earning a place in the play-offs. Darren Sarll’s side would however be seen off by Bromley, losing 1-2 in the quarter finals. A varied start to their campaign has seen an orderly, mirroring return of two wins, two losses, one draw, eight goals scored, eight goals conceded, and currently sitting right in the middle of the league table. The first of their two bank holiday clashes was a visit to Gateshead, where they came from one goal down to win 1-3 in an impressive display, earning their first away win of the season.

Retaining many of the key personnel who propelled Woking to a best finish in the league since the early 90's, Darren Sarll had added grit to his midfield options with former Dagenham & Redbridge captain Matt Robinson and Manny Oyeleke, previously with bitter rivals Aldershot Town, recruited over the summer. Up top, ex-Weadlstone and Boreham Wood attack Dennon Lewis has joined The Cardinals for a second spell after previously being on loan, striker Nana Boateng also arriving on loan from Millwall.

Last Time We Met Our visit to The Laithwaite last season despite it being back in October, isn’t easily forgettable, producing a six-goal thriller, Rhys Browne scored with less than seven minutes to play to earn the home side a point in a 3-3 draw. Jimmy Muitt won a penalty five minutes into the affair, which Ryan Seager converted, Woking would then equalise on the stroke of halftime, Padraig Almond getting his first goal of the contest. Five minutes after the restart, Almond grabbed a second to put his side in front. His teammate Rohan Ince would inadvertently level the scoring, after turning the ball into his own net. Some nice interchange between Bowerman and James McShane precluded Wanderers third goal, scored by McShane, putting his side into the ascendancy, before Browne’s late finish from close range meant the points were shared.

Wanderers best away attendance of last season is looking set to be broken in the same fixture again this term, secure you tickets now at:

Words: Dom Bleackley


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